Martinsville is at the junction of State Highway 7 and Farm Road 95, fourteen miles east of Nacogdoches in eastern Nacogdoches County. The community was established by Dr. John D. Martin, a native of Alabama, who settled in the area in the 1850s and established a large plantation. Around 1857 Martin built a mill, and for many years the community was known as Martin's Mill or Martin City. When residents applied for a post office in 1867 under the name Martin's Mill, however, they were informed that there was already a community by that name, and they changed the name to Martinsville. The post office operated from 1867 to 1888, except for a brief interruption. A school opened sometime before 1904, when it had an enrollment of eighty-four. The population of the town grew from forty in 1888 to 200 in 1929. During the mid-1930s Martinsville had the school, two churches, ten businesses, and a population of 100. Most of its businesses closed after World War II, but the population level remained about 100. In 1990 Martinsville was a dispersed rural community and reported 126 residents. The population remained the same in 2000.